The first half of the school year is over, you have hopefully filed your FAFSA, and applied to the colleges you’re interested in attending. The holiday break is a great time to start thinking about and looking for potential scholarships. It’s never too early to start—scholarship searching is a year-round process.
You can start your scholarship search by checking out College Greenlight™ through the ISAC Student Portal. College Greenlight offers a huge database with information about billions of dollars in local and national scholarships.
But there are also institutional scholarships—check the websites of the individual colleges or universities you want to attend to see what individual schools might offer their students. If you aren’t seeing information on the website or if you have questions about institutional scholarships, you can also call the college’s financial aid office. Each college will have its own application process so make sure you’re clear on rules and eligibility—don’t miss out on the potential for free money because your application was inaccurate or incomplete.
When you receive your financial aid award letter in the spring, you can use it to compare the financial aid package offered to you by each institution, and factor in potential institutional scholarships. ISAC has an easy-to-use online Financial Aid Comparison Worksheet, available in the Toolbox of the ISAC Student Portal, which makes it easy to compare awards and determine which institution offers you the best financial aid package. Don’t forget to consider expenses beyond tuition, fees and books—expenses such as food, notebooks, clothes and other items. You can use the SALT™ Money tool to learn about student loans, budgeting and much more.
There are many factors to consider in determining where to attend college, including program and career interests and goals, location, and of course financial resources. When it’s time to make the decision on where to attend, your local ISACorps member is available to help you work through your options in making the most informed choice about which college will be best for you.